Strong Albany Junior Soccer Association representation on show at international tournament Singa Cup

Calvin SimsAlbany Advertiser
Under-14 Football West girls' squad.
Camera IconUnder-14 Football West girls' squad. Credit: Kelly Belfield

A host of local soccer talents returned from the annual Singa Cup in Singapore with strong results this week.

Fifteen Great Southern juniors shone on the world stage against teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, South Korea and Japan in their respective divisions.

The young prospects were a part of four Goldfields WA Country teams sent to the Singa Cup under Football West’s wider Asian engagement strategy, an initiative that focuses on building relations with Asia through sporting and cultural exchange visits.

Two under-16 girls teams made the trip across while an under-14 girls squad and an under-16 boys squad also took part.

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The under-14 girls squad containing local players Madison Belfield, Demi Burns, Layla Harrop, Latisha Sewell and Georgia Whitelaw won a bronze medal.

The Football West under-14s girls squad.
Camera IconThe Football West under-14s girls squad. Credit: Kelly Belfield

The cohort racked up one win and three losses in the group stage, including a 3-0 triumph over Tampines Titanides to finish fourth behind Fremantle City.

The under-14s beat Fremantle City in their third-place playoff match with a spirited 3-1 win.

The Football West 2 under-16s squad that included local players Ella Belfield, Abi Matthews and Milla Trichillo started their campaign in superb fashion with a 4-0 defeat of EJC Westwood and a 2-1 victory over Carramar.

They rounded out their group games with a 3-1 loss to Perth Redstar Black to finish second in their group of four. The side fell short in their semifinal against Lion City Sailors in a 5-0 loss but finished on a positive note, winning the third-place playoff against Perth Redstar Red 2-0.

Great Southern juniors Latisha Sewell, Georgia Whitelaw, Demi Burns, Madi Belfield and Layla Harrop.
Camera IconGreat Southern juniors Latisha Sewell, Georgia Whitelaw, Demi Burns, Madi Belfield and Layla Harrop. Credit: Kelly Belfield

The other under-16 girls team (Football West 1) featuring Great Southern talents Lumeah Masih, Shelley Thompson and Siri Mathews finished third in their group stage with one win and two losses before falling short against Carramar 4-1 in the fifth-place playoff match.

The Football West under-16 boys side also featured strongly in their competition to finish second in their group of five, advancing to the quarterfinals with a record of three wins and one loss.

Great Southern talent Brad Copeland scored a memorable goal in their 1-0 group stage win over Garuda Lampung City while goalkeeper Renoir Nash was outstanding in their 2-0 loss to local side Turf City.

Under-16 Football West 2 squad.
Camera IconUnder-16 Football West 2 squad. Credit: Kelly Belfield

The squad that included Great Southern players Copeland, Renoir Nash, Escher Nash and Aaron Orr bowed out in their quarter final to eventual tournament winners PSF Football Academy (Indonesia) in a 5-0 defeat.

Madison Belfield said the challenge of playing in an international tournament was unforgettable.

“I really enjoyed playing soccer in Singapore against many different nationalities and other Australian teams,” she said.

“The humid conditions were at times hard to play in but I was proud of our team.

The Football West under-16 boys squad.
Camera IconThe Football West under-16 boys squad. Credit: Kelly Belfield

“Everyday we improved and played really well in our final on Saturday to walk away with a bronze medal and third overall.”

Copeland said the tournament would put him in good stead going forward in his career.

“It was cool to see how other teams play in other countries,” he said.

“I learnt how to use my body more to control the ball and how to work with teams that I didn’t know.

“The hardest part was playing in the heat, it was so much hotter than Albany and weather was monsoonal at times.

“I do want to keep competing in a high level, if I want to go further in soccer I would probably have to go to Perth where there are more opportunities.”

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